Woman claims 8-year-old injured her; loses lawsuit - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Woman claims 8-year-old injured her; loses lawsuit

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Jennifer Connell  does not speak to media after a jury rules against her. (WFSB) Jennifer Connell does not speak to media after a jury rules against her. (WFSB)

A New York aunt was unsuccessful when she sued her own 8-year-old nephew after claiming the young boy knocked her down while greeting her at his birthday party.

The case that has garnered national attention came to a conclusion with jurors reaching a verdict on Tuesday.  

The incident took place at the home of Michael Tarala, who is the boy’s father, in Westport on March 18, 2011.

Jennifer Connell claimed that Sean Tarala, who was 8 years old at the time, was “forceful” when greeting her. She claimed her nephew’s “greeting” caused her to injury her left arm and Sean Tarala was “negligence and carelessness.”

According to the lawsuit, Connell said the injuries to her left arm caused her “pain and mental anguish” and required surgery.

"The minor defendant negligently and carelessly caused the plaintiff to fall by knocking her to the ground, resulting in the severe personal injuries, damages, and losses,” the complaint stated.

Connell was seeking $127,000 in damages.

The lawsuit said any reasonable 8-year-old would have or should have known a forceful greeting could be harmful.

"As a further result of this incident, the plaintiff's ability to pursue and enjoy life's activities has been reduced,” the complaint stated.

But, apparently the jurors weren't buying that explanation. The jurors deliberated for about 40 minutes Tuesday afternoon before ruling in favor of this little boy.

While leaving Bridgeport Superior Court, Connell was surrounded by court marshals and said nothing as she walked towards a waiting car. Her attorney also refused to talk to the media.  

One juror left the court house on Tuesday and didn't say much. But, the juror noted it wasn't an easy decision.

To read the full complaint, click here

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